Seaside Resorts Offer a More Authentic Experience

If you're thinking of visiting the UK, you've no doubt got the usual tourist destinations on your list: London, Oxford/Cambridge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, maybe a trip to see the rolling hills of Wales or Scotland. I bet a traditional seaside resort is not on your list! And yet, if you want to see an authentic side of the UK, there's no better place to find it than at a seaside resort like Blackpool, Bournemouth, Skegness or Great Yarmouth. Such places are not only popular with Brits, but they are full of history, and things to do.

Why aren't such places recommended by travel agents outside the UK? I think it's because they are not conveniently located for a lot of whistle-stop tours. Furthermore, they're considered as something "old fashioned" - a lot of seaside towns saw the height of their popularity in the earlier decades of the 20th century. However, it's a bit of a myth that UK seaside resorts lost their popularity in the latter half of the twentieth century. It was more that package holidays to Europe became cheaper from the 80s onwards, and such destinations did take the attention off of UK seaside resorts for a few years. That being said, in recent years the "staycation" has become very popular, and discerning international travelers are looking for a more authentic experience - and there's no better place to find it than at a seaside resort.

A town like Blackpool offers a chance to see a truly traditional view of the UK in action, and where you can catch glimpses of the past at places like the Pleasure Beach (the Big Dipper rollercoaster is still in action, originally opened in 1923!). You can wander around the town without any itinerary for the day - just soaking up the atmosphere, eating fish and chips, walking along the promenade, maybe spending a few quid in the amusements, watching a variety show in the evening. This is the "slice of life" experience that seaside resorts have to offer: you don't have to be on any schedule or a tour - you can be a part of the experience that so many Brits love - the seaside holiday.

This brings me onto a wider point: if you're planning to visit the UK, do take some time out to visit the more provincial areas. Popular tourist destinations can still be ticked off your list, but there's something about watching how the locals live.

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